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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 June 2007, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Q&A: Blair-Brown handover
Tony Blair is standing down as prime minister after 10 years in the job. Gordon Brown is to replace him. Here is a guide to the changes:

When is Mr Blair going?

Tony Blair is to step down as prime minister on 27 June. Labour's ruling National Executive Committee has gone through the process of finding a successor as Labour leader and Gordon Brown was the only contender with enough Labour MPs backing him to be considered. Mr Blair has continued as Labour leader and prime minister for the seven weeks a contest would have taken. Mr Brown took over as Labour leader on Sunday 24 June, three days before becoming PM.

Mr Blair has won three elections in a row. Why is he standing down?

When he stood for the Labour leadership in 1994, Mr Blair's close friend and rival Gordon Brown agreed to stand aside to give him a clear run, in return for a promise that power would be handed over at a future date. Then, in 2004, while under fire over Iraq and facing questions about his health after suffering heart problems, Mr Blair became the first serving prime minister to pre-announce his retirement. He said he intended to fight the next (2005) General Election, serve a full third term in office but then stand down rather than fight a fourth election. After winning the election he came under pressure from Labour MPs which ended only after Mr Blair promised last September to go within a year.

What will Mr Blair do before going?

Since announcing his departure timetable Mr Blair has been to the G8 summit, where he pushed for deals on climate change and Africa, and the EU summit where the challenge was to get agreement on a treaty to replace the troubled consitution - but a treaty that did not go so far as to mean a referendum was needed. On Saturday he visited the Pope, he is expected to make a statement to MPs on Monday on the EU summit, and to take a final prime minister's questions on Wednesday before finally stepping down as PM.

Who is going to succeed Tony Blair?

Chancellor Gordon Brown, the co-creator of New Labour. Despite sometimes stormy relations with Mr Blair and his supporters, Mr Brown did not face a challenge from within the Cabinet and his only potential challenger, John McDonnell failed to get the 45 Labour MPs need to back him and force a contest.

Will Brown change things as PM?

That remains to be seen. Mr Brown has had huge control over domestic policy over the past ten years and is credited with essentially co-creating New Labour. Opponents seek to portray him as to the left of Tony Blair, but his candidacy has been backed, in the end, by nearly all prominent Blairites.

So that's that?

Not quite. Deputy prime minister John Prescott has also decided to step down from his job and there was a very keenly fought contest to succeed him.

Who is succeeding him as deputy Labour leader?

Six candidates were in the race. In a tightly fought contest justice minister Harriet Harman pipped Education Secretary Alan Johnson at the post, by 50.4% to 49.6% in the fifth round of voting. The other contenders were: International Development Secretary Hilary Benn; Labour chairman Hazel Blears; backbencher Jon Cruddas and Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain.

How did the vote work?

As with any leadership contest, the Labour electorate is divided into three sections - Labour MPs and Euro MPs; Labour Party members and members of affiliated trade unions. Each part accounts for 33% of the result. People vote using a preference system, ranking the candidates. To win, a candidate must have 50% of the vote. If that is not reached the last placed candidate drops out and their second preference reallocated, and so on, until that figure is reached. In the event it took all five rounds before anyone got 50% of the votes.

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